My good friend Dr Edward Bearskin forwarded me an meme-mail which summarised various economic systems in terms of cow ownership. Here are some choice selections:
COMMUNISM: You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk.
ENRON VENTURE CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the
majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Sell one cow to buy a new President of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public buys your bull.
JAPANESE CORPORATION: You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'cowkimon' and market it worldwide.
IRAQI CORPORATION: Everyone thinks you have lots of cows. You tell them
that you have none. No-one believes you, so they bomb the fuck out of
you and invade your country. You still have no cows, but at least now
you are part of a Democracy....
BRITISH CORPORATION: You have two cows. Both are mad.
My favourite is:
ITALIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows, but you don't know where they are. You decide to have lunch.